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Note I., p. 202.
There were several instances of this dexterity, but especially those which occurred in the celebrated case of Murdison and Millar, in 1773. These persons, a sheep-farmer and his shepherd, settled in the vale of Tweed, commenced and carried on for some time an extensive system of devastation on the flocks of their neighbours. A dog belonging to Millar was so well trained, that he had only to show him during the day the parcel of sheep which he desired to have; and when dismissed at night for the purpose, Yarrow went right to the pasture where the flock had fed, and carried off the quantity shown him. He then drove them before him by the most secret paths to Murdison's farm, where the dishonest master and servant were in readiness to receive the booty. Two things were remarkable. In the first place, that if the dog, when thus dishonestly employed, actually met his master, he observed great caution in recognising him, as if he had been afraid of bringing him under suspicion; secondly, that he showed a distinct sense that the illegal transactions in which he was engaged were not of a nature to endure daylight. The sheep which he was directed to drive, were often reluctant to leave their own pastures, and sometimes the intervention of rivers or other obstacles made their progress peculiarly difficult. On such occasions, Yarrow continued his efforts to drive his plunder forward, until the day began to dawn, a signal which, he conceived, rendered it necessary for him to desert his spoil, and slink homeward by a circuitous road. It is generally said this accomplished dog was hanged along with his master; but the truth is, he survived him long, in the service of a man in Leithen, yet was said afterwards to have shown little of the wonderful instinct exhibited in the employment of Millar.
Another instance of similar sagacity, a friend of mine discovered in a beautiful little spaniel, which he had purchased from a dealer in the canine race. When he entered a shop, he was not long in observing that his little companion made it a rule to follow at some interval, and to estrange itself from his master so much as to appear totally unconnected with him. And when he left the shop, it was the dog's custom to remain behind him till it could find an opportunity of seizing a pair of gloves, or silk stockings, or some similar property, which it brought to its master. The poor fellow probably saved its life by falling into the hands of an honest man.
Note II., p. 213.
The author has made an attempt in this character to draw a picture of what is too often seen, a wretched being whose heart becomes hardened and spited at the world, in which she is doomed to experience much misery and little sympathy. The system of compulsory charity by poor's rates, of which the absolute necessity can hardly be questioned, has connected with it on both sides some of the most odious and malevolent feelings that can agitate humanity. The quality of true charity is not strained. Like that of mercy, of which, in a large sense, it may be accounted a sister virtue, it blesses him that gives and him that takes. It awakens kindly feelings both in the mind of the donor and in that of the relieved object. The giver and receiver are recommended to each other by mutual feelings of good-will, and the pleasurable emotions connected with the consciousness of a good action fix the deed in recollection of the one, while a sense of gratitude renders it holy to the other. In the legal and compulsory assessment for the proclaimed parish pauper, there is nothing of all this. The alms are extorted from an unwilling hand, and a heart which desires the annihilation, rather than the relief, of the distressed object. The object of charity, sensible of the ill-will with which the pittance is bestowed, seizes on it as his right, not as a favour. The manner of conferring it being directly calculated to hurt and disgust his feelings, he revenges himself by becoming impudent and clamorous. A more odious picture, or more likely to deprave the feelings of those exposed to its influence, can hardly be imagined; and yet to such a point have we been brought by an artificial system of society, that we must either deny altogether the right of the poor to their just proportion of the fruits of the earth, or afford them some means of subsistence out of them by the institution of positive law.
Note III., p. 318.
Non omnis moriar. Saint Ronan's, since this veracious history was given to the public, has revived as a sort of alias, or second title, to the very pleasant village of Inverleithen upon Tweed, where there is a medicinal spring much frequented by visitors. Prizes for some of the manly and athletic sports, common in the pastoral districts around, are competed for under the title of the Saint Ronan's Games. Nay, Meg Dods has produced herself of late from obscurity as authoress of a work on Cookery, of which, in justice to a lady who makes so distinguished a figure as this excellent dame, we insert the title-page:
"The Cook and Housewife's Manual: A Practical System of Modern Domestic Cookery and Family Management.
--------'Cook, see all your sawces Be sharp and poynant in the palate, that they may Commend you: look to your roast and baked meats handsomely, And what new kickshaws and delicate made things.'
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
By Mistress Margaret Dods, of the Cleikum Inn, St. Ronan's."
Though it is rather unconnected with our immediate subject, we cannot help adding, that Mrs. Dods has preserved the recipes of certain excellent old dishes which we would be loath should fall into oblivion in our day; and in bearing this testimony, we protest that we are no way biassed by the receipt of two bottles of excellent sauce for cold meat, which were sent to us by the said Mrs. Dods, as a mark of her respect and regard, for which we return her our unfeigned thanks, having found them capital.
[II-A] p. 104. "Tietania." A little book on the art of tying the neckcloth, in the age of Brummel and his "failures." Copies may occasionally be found on the bookstalls. It is not in the Abbotsford Library.
[II-B] p. 151. "I first persuaded her to quit the path of duty." This remark of Tyrrel's is one of the many surviving traces of the original plot.
[II-C] p. 220. "Master Stephen." A character of Ben Jonson's already referred to--he who wished for a stool to be sad upon.
[II-D] p. 223. "A Canon of Strasburgh." Scott frequently refers, in accounts of the roof of the hall of Abbotsford, which he blazoned with his quarterings, to his deficiency in the sixteen necessary for a Canonry. Three shields, those connected with the Rutherfords of Hunthill, are vacant, or rather are painted with clouds.
[II-E] p. 238. "One of Plutarch's heroes, if I mistake not." It was not a hero of Plutarch's, but Pindar the poet, who was warned by Persephone that he had neglected to honour her by an ode.
[II-F] p. 254. "They can scarcely say worse of me than I deserve." In this remark of Clara's we have another trace of the original plot, involving Clara's lapse from virtue. The whole scene, with Mowbray's "You having been such as you own yourself," was made unintelligible by Ballantyne's objection.
[II-G] p. 300. "A corbie messenger." It seems unlikely that the Scots had a legend like the Greek one concerning the evil "corbie" or raven messenger to Apollo about his false lady-love, but no other explanation suggests itself.
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